Cross Cultural Management

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The purpose of this essay to demonstrate the cultural differences between the UK manager going to work as an expatriate manager in Colombia. By taking into consideration Hofstede, Bond, Trompenaars and other cross cultural management researchers to advise the UK manager about the Colombian culture, taking into consideration the differences between leadership styles, decision making, recruitment and selection, motivation, planning and team versus individual working.The reason for selecting Colombia was that according to the results by Geert Hofstede, these two countries are very opposite to one another. Therefore it will be good to compare the differences and the similarities between the countries’ culture. According to Adler (1983) Cross Cultural Management is defined as the study of the behavior of people in the organizations located in cultures and nations around the world. It focuses on the description of organizational behaviour within countries and cultures, on the comparison of organizational behaviour across countries and cultures, and perhaps most importantly on the interactional of people from different countries working within the same organization or within the same work environment. As an advisor to a UK company opening a subsidiary and to send an expatriate Manager to work in Colombia, the best way is to enter the country with an acceptance to what is the culture of Colombia, as it is always better to accept and then expect. Hofstede defines culture as “the collective programming of the mind which distinguishes the members of one human group from another Culture, in this sense, includes values; systems of values are a core element of culture.”(Mead et al, 2009) From further research on Hofstede’s culture dimension, we can state that there is a huge different between the UK and Colombian culture. (Hofstede, 2009)

Power Distance is the extent to which members of a society accept the unequal distribution of power among individuals. (Ball et al 2004) On the Power Distance dimension (PDI) Colombia scored a comparatively high score of (67). Hofstede, (2011) the score reveal that Colombians are reliant on authority and have leadership that is regularly in a paternalistic approach. This is predictable by workers, they are often loyal and the assumption is that all authority and accountability is at a higher level. Here subordinates are to treat those in positions of authority with particular respect, meaning it is a society that has a very low level of tolerance for uncertainty. The manager knows everything and is all powerful. Harris et al (2004) Management here is seen as being authoritarian, the theory X managers as defined by McGregor. Netmba, (2011) In Colombia the lines of communication in organisation is vertical, subordinates will normally know whom to report to. Companies here are characterised by a less formal controls and fewer layers of management. (Mead et al, 2004)

According to Geert Hofstede’s culture dimensions scores, UK has the score of (35) This shows that the UK has a very low power distance, which means that it society de-emphasises the differences between citizen’s power and wealth. It places more emphasis on opportunity and equality for everyone. Managers and subordinates are treated equally. Hodgetts et al, (2003). Here the management style as more of the theory Y manager, as managers are more flexible. (Netmba, 2011)

Trompenaars views Individualism and Collectivism dimension as the conflict between groups and individual interest. Triandis, (1994) this reflects the underlying arrangement of society integrated, tight social arrangement involving collective responsibility. (Jhon Martin, 2005)

UK has a score of (89) on the Hofstede’s finding, this score indicate that UK has a high score on individualism and a high gross national product and also a free political structure. Here the society are more individuals and are expected to look after themselves and their immediate...
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